Femininity is about being fruitful. It's about birthing God-given purpose, nurturing relationships and serving others.
10 years ago on April 17, 2007, I went through a major surgery to rid my body of cancer. I was 20 years old and had no idea how sick I was until coughing up blood in my dorm on Easter Sunday. (You can watch my story here.) After my parents traveled to Tulsa to take me back home to Dallas, I underwent one of the most difficult weeks of my life. Prior to the surgery, the enemy threw punch after punch to knock me down. Then the day of my surgery came and I was wheeled into the surgery room. All of the bright hospital lights & shiny silver knives on the table next to me. I asked if I could keep my bible with me on the table and the doctor agreed.
After the surgery, I woke up to an unquenchable thirst...and quickly realized that I couldn't talk to tell the nurse I needed water. That was rough. She finally came over and gave me some ice cubes. (Thanks a lot. Lol) But that was all I could take. I spent the next few days in the hospital with these massage boots on my legs to keep my circulation flowing. I couldn't walk, talk, eat or drink. They basically shut my body down in order to remove half of my left lung to get rid of the malignant (cancer) mass and all the surrounding lymph nodes. I started practicing walking down the hall arm and arm with my dad a few days later. The nurse said if I could walk down the hall and to the windows and back, then I could go home. With my goal in mind, I practiced and prayed and gathered my strength to make it overtime. Finally, I was discharged and wheeled down to the hospital exit. I'll never forget the sound of the birds singing outside as my dad pulled up his SUV to take me home. I cry just thinking about that....
April has a special place in my heart. As does Easter. It was in this month that I suffered and recovered a disease that kills lives everyday. For whatever reason, God drew a bloodline around me and wouldn't let me die at 20. Then fast forward two years later, April 2009, I got married to the love of my life. Someone I didn't even deserve. Who had prayed for me and believed for my healing when I overlooked him for years. Fast forward to April 2011, Easter Sunday, I was in labor with my baby girl and gave birth on the following day, April 25. And now here I am, April 17, 2017, 30 years old and pregnant with my baby boy.
God has a way of turning our place of pain into our place of rejoicing. I pray that my story brings you encouragement to believe that the same hand that allows pain and suffering is faithful to bring joy and healing. IN THE SAME PLACE!
To God be the glory for reminding me yet again that He is the Resurrection and the Life. He will always give us beauty for ashes. The oil of joy for morning. And the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. The same God that did it for me, will do it for you.
Leave Your Beauty Mark
I've never been one to like the cold.
Having been raised in Michigan and other Northern states amidst chilling winters and freezing temperatures, I've often given winter the cold shoulder. The weightless snowflakes that some find so beautiful have been like a disguised enemy to me. Masked in gentle white flakes, but once accumulated cause harmful road conditions and treacherous walkways.
But somehow, over the last few days, I've heard a whisper in the air. Seen a message in the desolate trees that appear barren and isolated. Oh, if winter could talk, I may have heard her gently share a lesson in my ears:
The local church is one of the greatest blessings to the world today. The love and giving that God has called us to is a precious gift and great responsibility. We have been given the gift of grace and the responsibility to be His hands and feet in the earth. Every Sunday, and throughout the week, I look forward to gathering together with my brothers and sisters in praise & worship to God. I pray that one day I can join together with churches around the world in this way. Today, I'm thankful for my pastors & leaders that selflessly shepherd the congregations of the world and teach us God's word, and the gift of the family of God.
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 12, 27 NKJV)
So, what are you thankful for today? Did you join in worship with your family today? Leave a comment below and join me in thanking God for His goodness today!
Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark
At various seasons, we must take time to DTR: define the relationships in our lives. When God is taking you from one season to another, and from one level to another, not every person will go with you. In some cases, people who were in your life from the past can only see you as who you used to be. When God starts growing you and changing you into a new creation in Christ, those people are so familiar with who you once were that they cannot accept the new you and therefore will not transition into the next level with you. It’s important to know who’s who in your life and understand where each relationship stands when your seasons change. Some relationships may always be in your life, but some may be just for a season. God designed them that way.
Selecting a spouse is one of the most important decisions that we can make in our lives. That one decision has a ripple effect, pouring into all areas of life: physical, mental and spiritual. Many different factors come into play when selecting a spouse, but what should be the top priorities? For many people, physical attraction is the number one factor, and sometimes even the deciding factor. But as believers, should our standards be the same? Should physical attraction be the top priority and deciding factor when selecting a spouse? I’ve asked this question of myself and others, and have searched the scriptures for biblical examples and answers to this poignant question. Here is what I believe to be an informed answer:
Good evening, ladies. I couldn't pass up this day without sharing with you how meaningful this date is to me. Today is the 5 year anniversary of my surgery. I cannot even explain how thankful I am to be alive. God gave me a second chance on life and today I remember His faithfulness to see me through the darkest day of my life. Not only did I survive cancer, but I was able to get married, reproduce and give birth to my daughter Grace. A few weeks ago, I had an extensive physical exam and received a great report from my doctor from all the test results. "Thank you" just can't seem to express all of my gratitude. I pray that my life will bring Him glory and that when it is my time to go, I will have emptied out all that He's placed inside of me, leaving my beauty mark on the world.
Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark
Hello, beautiful ladies! I hope your Monday is going great so far. I wanted to let you know that I just completed a new guest blog post at Kathy's Prayer Life Lessons and would love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! In the post, I give insight on the two most important questions we can ask God in prayer. I'm really excited about this post and I know that it will bless you. Interest to know what the questions are? Go take a look here!
Thank you for stopping by and be on the look out for some fresh new post here at BeautyMarkedMom!
Emonne Markland Leave YOUR Beauty Mark
Abuse: improper or excessive use or treatment; misuse.
Every day, products and goods are created all over the world for a specific purpose. Forks are made to eat with. Chairs are made to sit on. Computers are made to type on and create documents and images. But what if you took your laptop and tried to cook your lunch on it? Imagine becoming angry when your chicken and vegetables don't sauté. That would be completely ridiculous right? Well, often times, that's what we do with our own lives. Each of us has been created for a specific purpose. And yet, we spend year after year in abuse, misusing the gifts and talents that God has given us by seeking after whatever we want to do and be. Sure, a fish may want to be a roaring lion, but outside of the water it won't survive!
This year, we MUST discover and devote our lives to God's purpose for our existence. There is no more time to be a fish out of water. If people around you have been holding you back and forcing you into a box that your "circle" doesn't fit in, let them go! God is doing a new thing in our lives! It's not going to be a bed of roses, and along the journey to purpose there will be many inconveniences and pressure, but we will come out of the fire like gleaming, pure gold. Today, make the decision to seek God like never before and allow Him to reveal to you your true purpose. Not your plans. Not what your parents, husband, friends or professors always said that you would be. God's divine purpose for your existence! He has such great things in store for us! You won't even recognize yourself by this time next year! You are equipped with God's power to do great and mighty things! I have prayed for you this morning and called many of you out by name. I pray that you will be all that God has created you to be, and never misuse the gifts that are inside of you.
That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you...(2 Timothy 1:6 AMP)
God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. (2 Timothy 1:7 MSG)
Emonne Markland Leave YOUR Beauty Mark
*This post is inspired by the Sunday morning sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes from today. Every Sunday on my Instagram account (beautymarkedmom), I write a "Sunday Recap" post from what I learned in church that morning. I have encouraged others to do so, and a number of IGers have joined in and shared what God spoke to their hearts in their Sunday morning church service. It's a great way to review your notes and share what God has spoken to you. If you are on IG, join in and add hashtag #SundayRecap to your post! If you're on Twitter, you can do the same there too! It is great to see what God is speaking to His people around the world.
Often times, when we take our eyes off of God and focus on our situation, we begin to experience fear. We freeze up at the thought of what "could" happen. We stop progressing in our walk with God as we place matters into our own hands instead of looking to God for help in our time of need. I know that things get rough. I know the problem is big. But God is bigger. He is greater than your circumstance. And He is in control, even when it doesn't seem like it. Consider Job. He went through some major let downs. All of his children died, all that he owned was destroyed and even his health was attacked! His wife told him to curse God and die and his friends all came up with judgements on why he was suffering so badly. But did you know that Bible scholars believe that his trial was only about 9 months long? It was temporary! A short season, considering the fact that he lived to see his children's children all the way to the 4th generation! (God blessed him with more children after the season of trouble subsided. See Job 42:10-16). Be encouraged and know that God is in control! Release your desire to be the potter in your life and let Him get back to work on your behalf. Know that He is the Potter and you are the clay. Trust Him. Walk on the water. Remember this as you go: Fear paralyzes. Faith mobilizes. Don't be afraid to walk by faith.
Emonne Markland Leave YOUR Beauty Mark
Steve Jobs was a visionary and innovator that changed the way that we live. Apple products have not only become a vital part of our every day lives, but they have been used to further the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in a dynamic way. As I watch the news coverage and remember the life of Steve Jobs, I cannot help but think of all of the millions of people around the world that have been affected as a result of his passion for technology and determination to make the impossible possible. Even when things seemed to be going down hill for Apple, he fought to bring the company back to life and never gave up on his dreams. Regardless of how amazing each product was, he was always reaching higher and demanding more excellence for the next version. He not only dreamed of great products and user-friendly technology, but he made them a reality that all of the world would benefit from. As I write this post on my MacBook Pro and periodically check my iPhone, I am reminded of how much his products have affected my life. He truly left his "beauty mark" on our world and has been deemed the Thomas Edison of our time.
What dream is stirring in your heart that could potentially affect our world for generations to come? What could you create if you silenced the loud distractions in your life and allowed your creative juices to flow freely from your heart and into the hands of others? How will you be remembered? How can you leave your beauty mark on the world? These are the questions that I challenge you to ponder as you remember the life of Steve Jobs.
We are all created with a seed of destiny waiting to spring forth and bear fruit that will leave a beautiful mark on the hearts and lives of others. May we all be encouraged to discover our potential and use all of our might to passionately pursue the purpose in which we were created for.
Emonne Markland: Leave YOUR Beauty Mark
P.S. Thanks to Steve Jobs, the following apps are a part of my every day life and are used to enhance my reading & hearing of the Word and my ability to connect with other like-minded people around the world:
- YouVersion- My digital bible & bible reading companion. I constantly use it to cross-reference during my study time and love reading all of my favorite scriptures in various versions. A must-have.
- Instagram- My photo editing/social media app that makes all of my photos pop. Love it.
- Twitter- Allows me to follow the thoughts & lives of my friends, families, celebrities & fav. ministers in realtime. I'm always guaranteed to receive an encouraging word on my feed!
- Billy Graham Evangelistic Association- We all know that Billy Graham is the greatest evangelist of the century. This app keeps me connected to all of his greatest sermons via video and audio. Powerful.
- TBN Mobile- I've been watching Trinity Broadcasting Network since I was a child. Now, I can watch it live with my baby girl on the go right from my iPhone and never have to miss a show!
- Facebook- Keeps me in touch w/ my friends and family near and far.